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CHICAGO (WBBM) – The City Council has approved a ban on texting or using a handheld phone while riding your bicycle.
The ordinance goes into effect next month. It prohibits bicyclists from texting while moving or making cell phone calls without a hands-free device, similar to the current rules for texting and cell phones in moving vehicles.
The council’s Committee on Traffic and Pedestrian Safety had signed off on the ordinance earlier this week.
Ald. Margaret Laurino (39th), who sponsored the ordinance, has said she’s seen cyclists using both hands to text while riding.
The Active Transportation Alliance, an advocacy group for bicyclists, has also said the ordinance makes sense, but might be unnecessary, arguing that responsibilities that apply to motorists also apply to a bicyclist.
Fines would start at $20 for a first offense and go up to $100 for a third or subsequent violation. If an accident is involved, the fine could be as much as $500.